Two years ago, we asked 88 questions that we wanted Star Wars: Episode VIII to answer. Now that The Last Jedi is here, let’s see how many actually got fulfilled.
Update (December 23, 2017): Almost two years ago, just as principal photography was about to commence on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we posted this list of 88 Force Awakens-inspired questions we needed answered in the then-untitled Episode VIII.
Well, The Last Jedi is finally here, and there have been a lot of changes to the world of Star Wars since the days of The Force Awakens – most hugely, the death of Carrie Fisher in December 2016, meaning that Episode VIII – though they didn’t know it while writing or shooting – would sadly be the final appearance of Leia Organa.
There have also been many, many, many supplementary canonical materials – books, comics and so on – released in the interim, so we have all sorts of new information and background on the stories set up in The Force Awakens.
So, with all that we know now, we’ve revisited our initial list of questions and had a crack at answering them! Current answers can be found in bold below each question.
Original story (February, 2016):
While we’re still reeling from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, work on the next installment has already begun. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing it as soon as we thought, and we’re getting impatient already. Here are 88 questions that Episode VIII needs to answer. It looks like principal photography on Episode VIII is about to begin at Pinewood Studios, with most of the major cast making their way to London in the last week. Carrie Fisher tweeted about her transatlantic move, Mark Hamill was accosted at Heathrow airport by English band Busted, and Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac were spotted at the London premiere of Zoolander 2. John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are obviously natives, but they both also posted pictures alluding to the start of their next adventure – Ridley’s of some flowers, seemingly welcoming her to Episode VIII, and Boyega showing us that Finn will be in fine physical form.
Despite the fact that production is already underway, we recently found out that Disney has delayed the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VIII by seven months, moving the 2017 release date from 26 May to 15 December. That’ll be nearly two years to the day since the opening of The Force Awakens, and we don’t know how we’re going to survive until then.
The Star Wars universe is nearly 40 years old, and is so densely populated and so beloved that there will always be questions that people want answered – from the big stuff, like the ethical issues with using the Force, to the utter minutiae, like whether the contractors working on the second Death Star were innocent victims. The list of Star Wars questions that people want answers for will literally never end. A lot of information came, over the years, from the gigantic Expanded Universe, but given that that’s no longer canon, we’re kind of back to square one there, but The Force Awakens presented us with plenty of brand-new canon to obsess over and get curious about. Here are 88 Star Wars questions that we want the eighth movie to answer.
- Who left Rey on Jakku?
- How was she raised before she was old enough to live independently?
- How many languages does she speak?
- Did Han or Leia know who Rey was when they met her?
- Did Kylo Ren know who Rey was when he met her?
- Is Rey a Skywalker?
- Is she a Solo?
- Is she a Kenobi?
- Was Poe aware of his parents’ friendship with the Skywalker twins?
- Did Poe and Ben grow up together?
- Did Poe know Luke during his childhood?
- What is Poe’s relationship with Leia like now?
- Does Poe have a girlfriend?
- Or a boyfriend? Or a non-binary partner?
- Poe says BB-8 is one of a kind. Where, when and why was BB-B made?
- Did Kylo Ren’s Forceful intrusion leave any scars on Poe’s mind?
- Does Finn have lasting damage from his fight with Ren?
- Is Finn Force-sensitive at all?
- Who were Finn’s family? Where was he taken from?
- Will he have any desire to go looking for them?
- Will he have any further issues with taking part in combat — even for the good guys?
- Will he find out that Poe was the one who killed Slip, and will it affect their friendship?
- What was Finn’s conditioned-from-birth Stormtrooper childhood actually like?
- Could he — directly or indirectly — inspire any other Stormtroopers to defect?
- Are all the current Stormtroopers human, or are there any alien humanoids?
- Was Phasma part of the Stormtrooper program, or did she grow up independently?
- Phasma didn’t call Finn and Han’s bluff — she lowered the shields rather than get killed by them. Why wasn’t she willing to die for the First Order?
- Where is Supreme Leader Snoke hiding out?
- Just how tiny is he, in real life?
- Is Snoke Darth Plagueis?
- Is Snoke Palpatine?
- Is Snoke Jar Jar Binks?
- What are the Knights of Ren?
- How old was Ben when he turned to the Dark Side?
- Leia was aware of Snoke’s growing influence on her son — who was he in their lives?
- Why did Ben become Kylo Ren? What did Snoke tap into, in order to groom him?
- Was Ren’s conflicted speech to Han a manipulative trick, or genuine?
- Is he going to have a big, mask-worthy face scar now?
- What’s the beef between Kylo Ren and Hux?
- How did Ren get his hands on Vader’s mask?
- How does Kylo Ren balance his idolization of Vader with the fact that Vader repented?
- How much do the First Order know about Ren’s link to Vader, Luke and Leia?
- What’s the galaxy’s general story behind Vader’s life and death? is the Skywalker connection public knowledge?
- Is the Light calling to Kylo Ren actually Anakin, telling him to knock that shit off?
- Are Force ghosts still a thing?
- Has Luke been in contact with any of the Force ghosts in the past 30 years — including his father? Not lately – he cut himself off from the Force, after all. But Yoda is pretty familiar with him, and Luke doesn’t seem super surprised, so it could be that in the 20+ years between the Original Trilogy and the Jedi school massacre, they made an appearance in his life.
- Was that really Obi-Wan talking to Rey in her lightsaber flashback? How?
- Was all of Rey’s flashback her own personal memory, or was she seeing things that happened to others?
- Who was Lor San Tekka?
- Why was he on Jakku? Was he guarding Rey from a distance?
- How did he end up with the map to Luke?
- How did Kylo Ren know him?
- Why does Maz Kanata have Luke’s first lightsaber?
- What is Maz’s background? Is she literally a thousand years old?
- What happened to her after the attack on Takodana?
- How strong is her Force-sensitivity — could she be a Jedi if she wanted to?
- What kind of authority did the First Order actually have — how did they rise to power?
- Were any characters (or planets) we already knew and loved destroyed along with the Hosnian System?
- What’s the political situation now that the Senate, Republic Fleet, and Starkiller have been destroyed?
- Will any official governments align with the Resistance against the First Order?
- What other plans or weapons do the First Order have up their sleeve?
- No bad guys believe that they’re the bad guys, so what angle does the First Order use to indoctrinate their “free” supporters?
- Are there whole planets or systems full of civilians under First Order control?
- Did Luke feel the destruction of the New Republic?
- Why did Luke go into hiding? Was Han’s explanation the whole story?
- What’s he been doing all this time?
- Did he create that map himself? Did he want to be found?
- How has this experience changed him? Is there any of the eternally good-natured optimist left in there?
- How has he been treated by society for the last 30 years? Is he feared/revered?
- Since it’s only been 30 years, why do people think Luke is a myth?
- Has Luke changed the rules about the required lifestyle of a Jedi?
- Why did Rey seek him out? Simply to train with him, or to convince him to come back into the fight?
- Did Leia ever train to use the Force, even a little bit?
- Will she ever use a lightsaber?
- How long has she been running the Resistance, and what did she do before that?
- What is her relationship with her brother actually like? We only saw its beginning.
- Can Ben be redeemed, purely so Leia’s life doesn’t suck in every single way?
- Why was the Falcon on Jakku? Again, was Han’s explanation the whole story?
- Will we see Han again in any way?
- What will Chewie do with his life now?
- Where’s Lando Calrissian?
- Where’s Wedge Antilles?
- How are the Ewoks doing?
- What’s the status on droid rights these days? Can they get into bars now?
- Are there any taboos about romance between humans and other sentient aliens?
- Is Star Wars a post-literate society?
- When is someone going to lose a hand?
- WHEN WILL THERE BE STAR PEACE?
Her deadbeat parents, apparently.
Looks like she was sold to Unkar Plutt and raised as a child laborer.
A lot – Rey’s Survival Guide tells us she learnt droidspeak and many alien languages, including Wookiee, from old computer programs she found while salvaging rebel ships.
If the parental reveal in The Last Jedi was the whole truth, no.
Second verse, same as the first. If the parental reveal in The Last Jedi was the whole truth, no.
If the parental reveal in The Last Jedi was the whole truth, no.
If the parental reveal in The Last Jedi was the whole truth, no.
Once more, with feeling… If the parental reveal in The Last Jedi was the whole truth, no.
He must be aware of the personal connection, at the very least. Poe, for instance, grew up with a Force-sensitive tree that Luke has the twin of, and Leia wrote to him after his mother’s death. Whether they actually met depends how much contact the Damerons had with the Skywalkers after leaving military service during Poe’s childhood.
Again, depends on the above, but on further rewatches, there seems to be something deeply personal about Kylo and Poe scene that opens The Force Awakens – an unspoken pointed mockery of each other’s current situation. But maybe that’s just me.
There have been no direct scenes between Luke and Poe, but given the contents of Shattered Empire and the Poe Dameron comic series, it could certainly be extrapolated. In the scene where Luke comes to Crait, Poe watches Luke’s actions and refers to him as “Luke,” later changing to Skywalker when relaying the scene to others, which could imply – much like with Leia – that he’s being overfamiliar due to personal relationships, and then remembering his duty.
Very close. He takes liberties, disobeys orders, and calls her by her first name. He clearly considers himself a confidante, and he learns a few lessons about leadership in The Last Jedi. It’s very likely that he’ll be her successor as the leader of the Resistance.
The fact that he’s carrying around his mother’s wedding ring waiting for the right person to give it to would imply that he’s currently single.
No word on why BB-8 is so special – and, as The Last Jedi showed us incredibly autonomous, more than we ever dreamed. Poe brought BB-8 with him when he defected from the New Republic Fleet to the Resistance.
We’ve seen zero aftermath of this – or in fact on anyone else, like Rey, who’s been Force-interrogated. It does not seem to cause lasting damage.
Given that The Last Jedi picks up nearly immediately after The Force Awakens, he is still recovering from those injuries, but he seems fit enough once he comes out of his healing coma bubble thing.
No update on this. Probably not.
Still no idea.
Not yet, and given the whole “let the past die” theme they seem to be going for, he may never do so.
Given that, in The Last Jedi, he tries to desert, prioritizing his personal relationship with Rey over the Resistance, I’m gonna say yes, there’s a few issues — and he’s definitely still prone to panicking, but he does fight bravely and by the end pulls a full self sacrifice move.
No, this is probably irrelevant.
Nothing further about Finn specifically, but there’s a fair amount in the Aftermath Trilogy about the set-up of the First Order’s stormtrooper training program. Oh, and I guess he was friends with the Tom Hardy stormtrooper?
We don’t see this in The Last Jedi, but it’s still 100% possible – apparently one of the deleted scenes included Phasma gunning down six or seven of her own stormtroopers when Finn encouraged them to do just that, as he fought his former commander.
As far as we’ve seen, the First Order is entirely human – aside from Snoke.
Phasma grew up in a tribal clan on the planet Parnassos and joined the First Order as an adult, somewhat by choice, when Hux’s father’s ship crashed on her planet. Her history is detailed in the novel Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson.
In that circumstance, she managed to find someone else to blame (and execute) for the shield breach, rewriting history in her favor when Starkiller was destroyed. This is detailed in the Captain Phasma comic miniseries by Kelly Thompson. However, in The Last Jedi, she appears to have died in her final confrontation with Finn, so it seems that her self-preservation didn’t outweigh her ultimate loyalty and duty to the First Order.
Onboard the Supremacy, his very secret dreadnought, apparently.
Depressingly normal sized.
Allegedly not. We have zero Snoke backstory and now he’s super dead.
You know what? Sure. They’re about the same height. But no, not really. We can hold out hope. There’s some evidence that an Evil Jar Jar plot actually was afoot.
Other dark side Force users – it’s not confirmed if Kylo is their leader, or if he joined an existing group. If he is their founder, then they are likely the handful of other Jedi students who defected alongside Ben Solo, as Luke mentions in The Last Jedi. One thing they’re definitely NOT: the red guys in the red room – they’re the non-Force-sensitive Praetorian Guard, Snoke’s bodyguards.
There’s some room to play with here, but Ben was targeted and groomed by Snoke in his late teens, and then sometime in his early 20s, soon after finding out the truth about Darth Vader (as told in the story of the Leia-centric Bloodline by Claudia Grey) came the final destruction of Luke’s Jedi school.
No one, just evil – he wasn’t a trusted friend who turned on them or anything.
As we saw in The Last Jedi, the final straw was the moment he saw his Uncle Luke consider taking him out with a lightsaber while he slept. But the poisoning of his mind had started before then, and Snoke had used Ben’s feelings of abandonment – due to Leia and Han not exactly being role model parents – in his favor. The truth about Vader and Anakin Skywalker, which his family had hidden from him, probably didn’t do any favors either.
Looks like it was genuine, not that it does anyone any good. He has many more moments of true inner conflict in The Last Jedi, which draws Rey to him in a fit of compassion – but he makes the wrong choice and rejects his chance at redemption every single time.
YUP, but he rage-tantrurm smashes the mask anyway, so he’s just got his big fugly scar on display.
Childish, regressive jealousy. They’re basically Eric Trump and Donald Jr. to Snoke’s Donald Trump.
There’s a very good chance that Vader’s mask was in the package that Bazine Netal was hired to retrieve – from an ex-stormtrooper who fought on Endor, no less – in the canonical e-book The Perfect Weapon.
He 100% definitely just doesn’t, not even a little bit.
Given that the Skywalker family tree was revealed in Bloodline, if they know that Kylo Ren was ever Ben Solo, then they know. Most of the conversations about this happen only in private, though, with people we’re aware already know.
Yes – the truth is now known, widely and publicly – it was revealed to the Galactic Senate in a move to discredit Leia. Bloodline by Claudia Grey tells this story in detail, and it is the catalyst for Leia forming the Resistance.
Not confirmed in The Last Jedi.
Oh yes, indeed, and the events of The Last Jedi (Yoda’s appearance, Luke’s promise that he’d see Ben around) set them up as a huge plot point to come. If IX doesn’t feature a plotline that includes Mark Hamill as Luke, Hayden Christensen as Anakin and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan all annoying the hell out of Ben, then why even bother making it?
J.J. Abrams confirmed on the audio commentary that it definitely was Obi-Wan Kenobi, but what that means… no idea.
We still don’t know the significance of that very loaded scene. It could be a plot point that got dropped, it could be a sign of the Force moving through all its chosen vessels, or it could be a story yet to unfold – perhaps the “truth’ about Rey’s past we learnt in The Last Jedi wasn’t really the truth at all?
He was an explorer, and a non-Force-sensitive acolyte of the Church of the Force, who believed in the Jedi ideals.
Apparently not – he went there to retire in a spiritual community.
Tekka was an ally to Luke and Leia after the fall of the Empire, and helped recover the remaining Jedi texts. He knew Ben, growing up, as the child of his friends. Originally, Kylo was going to mention Tekka’s connection to his parents in their first encounter, but Abrams cut it.
No solid answer, but we were meant to see this – Abrams’ audio commentary on the special edition of The Force Awakens revealed that we were meant to see the saber’s entire journey from Empire to now, in a montage. In The Last Jedi, the student Ben Solo has a blue lightsaber that he defends himself with – it could have been that old Skywalker saber, which would explain why he was so possessive over it. Still doesn’t explain how it got to Maz, though.
Apparently she is, and she just keeps on keepin’ on.
She seems to be doing fine, but we’re unsure of her location – we see her on a video call, amidst a “union dispute” in The Last Jedi, the events of which happen only a few weeks or months (the timeline is uncertain, but Hux had time to grow some killer sideburns, so…) after the events of The Force Awakens.
According to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, she kept her abilities secret and chose not to train as a Jedi – so it’s probably pretty strong.
The First Order’s rise to power has been heavily detailed in books and comics, but in short, they used legitimate political factions as a front for long enough that the Republic Senate believed that they posed no threat – something of a cold war existed. The Republic’s lack of action was what caused Leia to form the Resistance.
Nothing specified, so they can reintroduce anyone they feel like.
The First Order has complete power wherever they feel like taking it. That’s pretty much it.
Nope. The Last Jedi shows all former allies ignoring the Resistance’s calls from Crait.
Hyperspace tracking is the HUGE one – the Empire’s research into this was hinted at in Rogue One, and the First Order seem to have perfected it. They’ve also got dreadnoughts, AT-M6’s, big-ass canons and a new boss.
Looks like the bad guys are going for the “only once we have total control can we possibly be free” angle. Also, the rebels keep blowing up Imperial shit, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they painted the rebels as terrorists and said “Join the First Order to keep your children safe from rebel scum!” Also, money.
This appears to be the case, but it’s only implied. They’re supposed to be 1,000 times bigger than the Empire ever was and the Empire had established territory on a number of planets. However, we also see places like Canto Bight, which seem entirely independent but willing to deal with the First Order for profit.
In theory, yes and he probably feels responsible in some way. The events of Return of the Jedi wouldn’t have ended the war, it would’ve only exacerbated it, which the new trilogy seems to show. However, Luke had already closed himself off from the Force – we don’t know when or for how long – but he does seem kind of clueless about events outside of Ahch-To when Rey finds him.
Han pretty much nailed it – Luke ran away and hid after the incident that turned his nephew into Kylo Ren.
Living in solitude and waiting to die.
Signs point to no.
He’s fundamentally changed – he’s a cynical old bitch who does not believe that there is any point in trying for change or possibility that he could be of any help. He’s full of self-loathing. By the end of The Last Jedi, he’s been inspired once again.
Yeah, he’s been pretty much deified, and at first he tried to live up to the hype, but now he seems to hate it.
Well, Rey said that and she’s a sheltered, uneducated scavenger from the middle of nowhere. Her intel probably wasn’t great. However, it’s a big galaxy, and our new heroes are young – they didn’t see the truth of the battles against the Empire first hand, and their understanding of history is probably pretty distorted. Luke has also been missing for around seven years – stories about him probably range far and wide, and few of them would even come close to the truth.
We don’t know what practices he was teaching his former students, but his lessons to Rey very much indicate that he has identified the issues with the past teachings of the Jedi.
Her speech to Luke was that the Resistance (and Leia) needed him to come back. But after some prodding from Luke, she also revealed that she had agreed to find him because she wanted to figure out her “place in all this.” So it sounds like some training was a hope of hers.
Leia’s formal training to use her abilities has not been made clear, but, much like Maz, she’s clearly very in touch with it within herself. The Last Jedi featured that absolutely huge moment of Leia using the Force to fly back through space into the wrecked bridge of the Resistance cruiser. She’s also extremely in touch with Luke. She’s definitely honed it in some way.
Not that we’ll ever get to see.
The aforementioned Bloodline fills in a lot of this. We find out that she was a senator in the New Republic’s Galactic Senate, and formed the Resistance after no official action was taken against the First Order, due to apathy, bureaucracy, and and corruption. The Resistance was founded about six or seven years before the events of The Force Awakens.
We sadly did not get much time dedicated to this. It seems like they were incredibly close – and connected by the Force – and part of his exile is due to guilt about her, but Rey’s insistence that Leia needs him doesn’t initially do much good. The moment that R2 showed Luke her initial message from A New Hope was wrenching – to us and to Luke – but it would have been great to see more of their lifelong dynamic. The biggest question, really, is how much of The Last Jedi would have been different if they’d known it was their last chance to showcase Carrie Fisher as Leia. There may have been plans for future plot points that we will now never see.
Sadly the second part of this question is moot, but Ben isn’t looking all that redeemable right now. Luke does say that no one is ever truly lost, but they do seem to be forging ahead with the whole “terrible white boy is offered every single chance and still proceeds with being terrible” thing, which, kudos.
Apparently so – the whole Rey stole it from Unkar Plutt, who stole it from the Irving Boys, who stole it from Ducain thing is a genuine chain of coincidence. Everything just ends up on Jakku… any further secrets about that have not yet been revealed.
Not in The Last Jedi. On a very somber note, Fisher’s death means that the plans for IX to be a Leia-centric movie are now moot, so if Lucasfilm wants legacy characters in the final installment of the new trilogy, they’ll need to find a way to incorporate Luke and Han. Luke is easy… Han, not so much.
Sit around and wait for Rey, make friends with Porgs… it does seem that he and Rey now sort of co-own the Falcon.
No update of his current whereabouts, but we’ll have Donald Glover showing us his past in Solo: A Star Wars Story, out May 2018. I personally suspect that he may also make an appearance in Episode IX.
After his arc in the Aftermath book series, he retired to Hosnian Prime and became a flight instructor. Hosnian Prime was destroyed by Starkiller, so he may now be dead. Then again, he may not be – actor Dennis Lawson turned down a return appearance in The Force Awakens, due to other commitments. The fact he was offered it at all means that they were likely planning to incorporate Wedge in the current Resistance.
No update on Ewok society as yet.
No update on the rights surrounding the sentience of droids, but Poe continues to treat BB-8 as a beloved pet/friend, even hugging it at one point in The Last Jedi and Luke, in his emotional return to the Falcon, confirms that R2-D2 is pretty much constantly cursing – our current heroes definitely subscribe to the idea that droids have emotional intelligence.
If there are, Maz Kanata flouts them with a passion, because she 100% banged Justin Theroux.
No! And not only that, The Last Jedi shows us that some actual real paper books still exist!
Well, in this movie, Snoke did. Hux finds his body with his arm detached from the upper half of his body, which is, of course, sliced off from the lower half of his body.
What burning Star Wars questions do you need answered in ‘Episode IX’?
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